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Tuning extracellular electron transfer processes in purple bacteria for improved electricity and chemicals production in photo-bioelectrochemical systems

Grant number: 21/09471-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2021
Effective date (End): October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:Maria Valnice Boldrin
Grantee:Lilian Danielle de Moura Torquato
Supervisor: Matteo Grattieri
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Bari - Aldo Moro, Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:19/00463-7 - Integrated and solar-driven bioelectrochemical systems for electricity and H2 production from co-digestion of crude glycerol and wastewater from citrus processing industry, BP.PD

Abstract

During billions of years of evolution, nature has found different ways to utilize sunlight as energy source through light absorption by utilizing complex and sophisticated photosystems. This goal is achieved in an elegant and relatively simple way in the bacterial photosynthetic unit. Furthermore, in addition to the capability to perform light energy transduction, the great metabolic diversity of phototrophic purple bacteria opens new insights for tuning the production of bioenergy and target chemical compounds. An ecient and long-term photocurrent generation using purple photoheterotrophic bacteria, however, requires artificial approaches to harvest the photogenerated electrons from their cellular membrane while avoiding photoinhibition or cytotoxic effects shift the spectral maxima. In this way, the use of soluble quinone-based redox mediators might not be the best choice, considering their potential toxicity to the photosynthetic apparatus. However, efficient alternatives are not yet available, as detailed information on the extracellular electron transfer (EET) process of purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB), as well as on their interaction with electrode surfaces, remains poorly understood. Therefore, this proposal aims to carry out a deep evaluation on EET of purple photoheterotrophic bacteria and to develop new strategies for its improvement, such as the exploitation of surface functional groups created by the thermal treatment of a sustainable feedstock, as biomass, as well as by functionalizing the surface of biochar-based electrodes with fresh and heat-treated polydopamine (PDA). This mimetic polymer is expected to contribute to both the adhesion of bacteria cell to the electrode surface and the tuning of R. capsulatus strain metabolism using its photoexcitation capability as the driving force to promote the over stimulation of photosynthetic chain and tuning PNSB metabolism toward improved generation of photocurrent and high-added value chemicals, such as poly-²-hydroxybutyrates or polyhydroxyalkanoates. Therefore, a deep understanding of the fundamental bioelectrochemical processes accounting for EET is expected to enable the efficient exploitation of the extremely versatile metabolism of PNSB in photo-bioelectrochemical systems, opening new perspectives to simultaneously meet the need for wastewater treatment with the growing demand for clean and sustainable energy. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE MOURA TORQUATO, LILIAN DANIELLE; MATTEUCCI, ROSA MARIA; STUFANO, PAOLO; VONA, DANILO; FARINOLA, GIANLUCA M.; TROTTA, MASSIMO; BOLDRIN ZANONI, MARIA VALNICE; GRATTIERI, MATTEO. Photobioelectrocatalysis of Intact Photosynthetic Bacteria Exposed to Dinitrophenol. CHEMELECTROCHEM, v. 10, n. 12, p. 2-pg., . (21/09471-2)

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